Congressional Dems take Trump to court over foreign favors
Lawyers representing nearly 200 Democrats in Congress plan to argue in federal court Thursday that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting foreign state favors without first seeking congressional approval.
The case argues that the president has received foreign government favors, such as Chinese government trademarks for his companies, payments for hotel room stays and event space rentals by representatives of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and proceeds from Chinese or Emirati-linked government purchases of office space in Trump Tower.
Ethics experts say the constitutional emoluments clause was created by the Founding Fathers to ensure that government officials act with the interests of the American public in mind instead of their own pocketbooks. Since then, it has been applied to the lowest of government of officials up to the president without a court challenge.
"This argument on Thursday will essentially put to the test the proposition that no one is above the law, not even the president," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who is leading the effort. "He's thumbed his nose at the plain text and in doing so he's thumbed his nose at the American people."
Unlike prior presidents, Trump chose not to divest from his assets and he remains the owner of the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire with 550 entities in more than 20 countries that include branded hotels, golf courses, licensing deals and other interests. His Washington, D.C., hotel just steps from the White House has become a magnet for foreign governments, including groups tied to Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.Running sneakersMens Flynit Trainers
Pennsylvania GOP take gerrymandering case to US high court
Pennsylvania's top Republican lawmakers asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to stop an order by the state's highest court in a gerrymandering case brought by Democrats that threw out the boundaries of its 18 congressional districts and ordered them redrawn within three weeks.
Republicans who control Pennsylvania's Legislature wrote that state Supreme Court justices unconstitutionally usurped the authority of lawmakers to create congressional districts and they asked the nation's high court to put the decision on hold while it considers their claims.
The 22-page argument acknowledged that "judicial activism" by a state supreme court is ordinarily beyond the U.S. Supreme Court's purview. But, it said, "the question of what does and does not constitute a 'legislative function' under the Elections Clause is a question of federal, not state, law, and this Court is the arbiter of that distinction."
Justice Samuel Alito, who handles emergency appeals from Pennsylvania, could ask the registered Democratic voters on the other side of the case to respond. Alito could act on his own, though the full court generally gets involved in cases involving elections. An order could come in a matter of days, although there is no deadline for the justices to act.
Pennsylvania's congressional districts are criticized as among the nation's most gerrymandered. Its case is happening amid a national tide of gerrymandering cases from various states, including some already under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Election law scholars call the Republicans' request for the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention a long shot.
They say they know of no other state court decision throwing out a congressional map because of partisan gerrymandering, and the nation's high court has never struck down an electoral map as a partisan gerrymander.latest Nike releaseWomens Shoes Footwear & Shoes Online